What happened to the ‘All My Files’ feature in macOS High Sierra?

Glenn Fleishman
20 March, 2018
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macOS’s All My Files option in the Finder is a great example of a feature that you barely know is there until it disappears. All My Files was default feature of the Sidebar that, when selected or shown when opening a new Finder window, listed every file created on your Mac in reverse chronological order.

It disappeared in High Sierra, replaced by a Recents item. Many people searched around for it for some time, including yours truly. Macworld reader Ralph thought he accidentally deleted All My Files, and is trying to restore it. Unfortunately, it’s gone and Recents simply isn’t as good.

Recents would also seem to show recently changed files, but in practice I find it’s pulling from a smaller set of locations, and, based on my experience with two Macs, it’s often weirdly not up to date and missing changes. There’s no way to customize it.

Can All My Files be replaced?

While you can create Smart Folders in the Finder that have complicated stored Spotlight searches, Apple has barely touched Spotlight search parameters for years. There’s no way to do a search as simple as “all files, chronologically reversed.”

It’s unclear why Apple removed All My Files. I had no complaints, and I can’t imagine it was confusing to users, because it did exactly what it said on the tin: showed all my files.

3 Comments

3 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Tony Bailey says:

    Programmers seem to believe that they have to be seen to be making changes to prove that they are doing something. Probably one of the worst examples is It uses which seems to disappear or change things for no apparent reason and leaves users scratching around searching for something that no longer seems to exist. Come the revolution……

  2. Bob Mackinnon says:

    It is very frustrating when items like “All my files” disappear for no known reason. I always found it very useful looking for older files or files that were placed in the wrong place. I would dearly love it back.

    Also, the Save As option has disappeared in some cases and the options box does not always give the option of where you want to save the file. I generally have to save it to the desktop, then copy it and paste it where I want it. Then go and delete the desktop version. Painful, when save as could fix it all up

  3. Marcus Hale says:

    I open up to 5 finder windows every day. One for dropbox, one for the desktop, one for applications, one for general purposes and one for All My Files. I have found that its the best way to find things, especially when you forgot where you put them, because Searchlight has also deteriorated over the last few years and cannot always tell you where everything is. MAD!!! At least all my files show everything you’ve worked on.

    Glad I haven’t updated to High Sierra. BRING IT BACK. Apparently programmers don’t use the Macs they design. INSANE.

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